Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Two common mistakes people make when undergoing orthodontic treatment

by Lonnie Bryant

There are certain mistakes which a lot of people make whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you're about to get braces, it's important to be aware of, and try to avoid making these mistakes. Read on to find out what they are.

Neglecting your oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene can be difficult when you're wearing orthodontics. You may find yourself feeling frustrated by how time-consuming and challenging it is to use inter-dental brushes to remove bits of food from your braces, and getting irritated by how frequently the bristles of your toothbrush get caught in the orthodontic wires. 

As a result of this, you may find yourself neglecting your oral hygiene, but this is a mistake which could have serious consequences for your dental health in the future. Failing to thoroughly floss and brush your teeth regularly when you are wearing braces could significantly increase the risk of your tooth enamel becoming severely eroded.

Both the plaque bacteria and the food particles in your mouth will get trapped along the outer edges of the braces' brackets. If you do not promptly remove them with a toothbrush or an inter-dental brush, the bacteria will consume the food particles and secrete an acid that will destroy the tooth enamel.

Erosion can not only make your teeth look yellow (as it exposes the yellow-coloured dentin underneath the tooth enamel) but can also make them a lot more susceptible to decay, cavities and infections in the future.

As such, no matter how frustrating and time-consuming it might be, it is extremely important not to neglect your oral hygiene at any point during the orthodontic treatment process.

Skipping your orthodontic adjustment appointments

Approximately once every six weeks or so, you will need to visit your orthodontist so that they can tighten your braces. This adjustment process ensures that, as your teeth migrate, the braces will continue to impose enough pressure on them so that they end up in their correct positions at the end of the treatment process.

Getting your braces adjusted can be a bit uncomfortable, both during the appointment itself and for a few days afterward. As such, you might feel tempted to skip some of your appointments.

However, if you do this, your braces will eventually become ineffective and, as a result of this, not only will your teeth stop moving into their correct positions, but they may actually start migrating back their original locations within your mouth.

In this situation, you would probably have to extend the length of the treatment process by at least a few months to achieve your desired results.


About Me

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.